Micropublishing by academic libraries?

Here’s a crowdsource request for knowledgeable academic librarians:

Do you know of an academic library that’s using micropublishing techniques by itself or in conjunction with the parent institution or one or more academic departments?


In this case, what I mean by “micropublishing” is using Lulu or CreateSpace to do the actual print (and, for Lulu, PDF) copies on order (as print-on-demand), handling the fulfillment side of book publishing.

One known example

I know of one example: the RIT Cary Graphics Arts Press at the Rochester Institute of Technology, run by the Cary Graphics Art Collection (part of the RIT libraries). So far, it’s done 14 publications available via Lulu, including some downloadable/PDF books, an ebook and a calendar–and one issue (so far) of a gold OA journal.

If you know of another example of a “virtual university press” using Lulu or CreateSpace, I’d love to know.


The book I’m working on for Information Today Inc., currently titled “The Librarian’s Guide to Micropublishing: Helping Patrons and Communities Use Free and Low-Cost Publishing Tools to Tell Their Stories,” is both a why-to and how-to book, aimed primarily at public libraries, with their hundreds of thousands (more likely millions) of patrons who have family histories, genealogies, reminiscences, local histories, and a wild variety of other would-be books that aren’t expected to sell more than five to 50 copies.

One chapter is aimed specifically at academic libraries, dealing mostly with the “provide an issue or annual print version of your e-only OA journal for the handful of libraries and scholars who want it that way” possibilities–I’d guess there are at least dozens if not hundreds of journals doing this–but also with the other case. Having one real example is wonderful; having two or three would be even better.

Let me know

If you know of one–or of a library that’s considering this–I’d love to know about it, preferably by July 1, 2001 2011 (since I’ll be doing the final editorial pass during July). The name of the press or a URL (e.g., the Lulu store URL) would be enough…



2 Responses to “Micropublishing by academic libraries?”

  1. Tina Lau says:

    Hello Walt,

    I just read your POD article in the latest issue of Online, and thought it was great. Coincidentally, I had a couple of salespeople from Xerox here yesterday telling me about the Espresso Book Machine (which apparently Lulu uses). Harvard Book Store (independent in Harvard Square) uses Espresso.

    BTW, I assume you mean you want responses by July 1, 2011, not 2001!

    Thanks for your work. I remember reading a book you wrote about MARC format back in the mid-80s in library school that helped me a lot.

    Tina Lau
    Librarian, Cuesta College
    San Luis Obispo, CA

  2. walt says:

    Thanks, Tina, I’ve corrected the date.

    MARC for Library Use was my very first book and in some ways the most important. Glad to see it was of use.

    I’d be surprised if Lulu actually used the EBM, although the technology is certainly similar–that is, PDFs printed to high-speed laser printers with covers prepared on different printers. Lulu’s doing a LOT of business contracted around the world, including casebound books and other things the EBM can’t do–but I suppose it’s possible some of Lulu’s books are done by EBMs.